Beth 'pidge' Flanagan's blog. Open source queer.

Daily Archives: July 21, 2016

The family reunion

I see this US election as being at a family reunion.

Half of my family (the wealthy ones, who even though they’re loud and obnoxious I love them anyhow because hey, I grew up with them) is going “We have *got* to have a sociopath in the room, all the best parties have them.” So they open the door and in pops a guy in a hockey mask with a chainsaw and a lady in a business suit with a blood smeared old timey doctors bag and a terrifying smile.

The rest of us look at them like they’ve eaten some of my weird Aunt Mable’s pot brownies. They’re insistent though. “So we should select the one with the doctor’s bag as she’s only going to butcher some of those guys,” pointing to the other half of my family who are quite a bit poorer “and not us. Because trust us, this sociopath over here. He’s gonna kill *all* of us and then probably do bad things with the corpses.”

The other half of my family is fucking terrified of who they let into the room and angry that these people were even let in the room. They say “Hey, wait. YOU guys are the ones who invited these assholes in. If they’re going to kill people, shouldn’t your heads also be on the chopping block? Most of us don’t even get to choose here!”

And part of my family, the part that knows both sides, is pissed because we’ve been put in an untenable decision to choose or not choose.

If we choose the more horrible sociopath, everyone is fucked, except our really old and rich cousin Bob, who to be honest, I think is probably the guy who decides the murdering fucks each year.

And hockey mask guy will probably go and eat peoples eyeballs too, because holy hell, is he fucking awful. But at least everyone feels that pain all around, including the family members who keep wanting to play this fucked up game.

But yeah, that’s not really a decision any of us want to make. Except cousin Bob. And maybe Aunt Margaret. But she’s a fucking hateful old biddie anyhow.

If we choose the less horrible sociopath, she’s gonna butcher the part of the family who had no choice in the matter. Oh, she’ll also probably fuck over Uncle Larry too. He’s on the wealthy side, but is substantially poorer than the rest of them. I’ve a feeling she’ll be shoving him in a box with a leash around his neck. But at least he’ll probably survive it. Maybe?

And then we could decide we don’t negotiate with terrorists and yell at my wealthier relatives and scream “Uh. No. Fuck you! You are not going to make me choose and fuck you for bringing these assholes into the room, why the FUCK do you keep doing this? How about we just fucking kick them out? It ain’t like Uncle Larry doesn’t have a fucking arsenal!”

To which the response is always “Well, that isn’t how stuff works. We’ve got to choose and if you don’t choose the less bad sociopath, who, yes, granted, will kill those guys, what you’re really doing is voting for the horrible sociopath.”

So me and some of the family are sitting there, huddled up in the middle of the room, yelling at each other, because a bunch of the family put us in an untenable situation where we’re being asked to choose which members of our family get to be butchered (and maybe eaten or worse).

Here is the worst bit of it. This party happens every 4 years. The sociopaths just keep getting worse for the poorer half of my family. Sometimes the prior guy that the wealthy family invited into the party will buy nice things for them so that they’ll keep playing the “invited a mass murderer to a family reunion” game.

Last time it was health insurance policies for all of the rich fam. The poorer side saw my cousin’s kids get blown up by a bomb dropped by a drone in exchange. Some of the rich family feels bad about that. They sent cards to the funeral.

So we end up sitting in the middle, yelling about this, every four years, and I keep getting angry and frustrated at this game because each year I have to see the pictures of what the prior sociopath did, to see more and more of my poorer family hurting and it is really hard for me not to look at my richer cousins and go “WHY DO YOU KEEP FUCKING DOING THIS? DON’T YOU KNOW ANY NICE PEOPLE???”

So yes. This is another year where I’m being asked to choose which family members I want to die.

And again, I’m not happy about it.

And frankly?

I don’t want to play this game anymore.

EDIT 1: The other thing that makes me angry and frustrated about all this is that that little group of folks in the middle who are arguing about this, we’re stuck in an unfair position and end up yelling at each other, sometimes not seeing the REALLY valid reasons why each of us hold the positions we hold.

I’m trying to yell less at them and more at the people who put us in this position. So yeah, if you’re one of the people who stumped for the lady with the doctor bag, I’m fucking angry at you.

Because you put us in this position. I may still love you because you’re family, but I won’t forget that you put the rest of my family at risk. You need to own that.

If you’re one of the folks in the middle who are trying to make the best of a shit ass choice even if it means doctor bag murderer. I’m not angry at you.

I might be frustrated because of the situation we’re in.

I might be annoyed because the argument sometimes seems to prioritise the wealthy part of the family over the poorer part of my family.

But I’m not angry at you and I’m sorry if sometimes my frustration with the situation spills over onto your lap.

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